July 29 - To the Top
Seems an auspicious day to try for the actual summit of Mt. Rose -- relatively mild temperatures, no hints of tropical disturbances, and sure enough, by c. 5pm, reach the peak with views extending all around,
encompassing Carson City and Range, Lake Tahoe, Rose and Granite Chief Ridges, Donner Lake and Canyon, Truckee, Prosser / Boca / Stampede Reservoirs, Reno and Washoe Valleys. A friendly hiker named Ed -- who's just arrived from Minnesota and does three-month stints working here and there for hospitals -- takes the top picture (and I his), and he is, with present company, one of the last to reach the top today, along with a couple on the east viewpoint, and three people still on the way up: these among tens, perhaps hundreds out for the day, mostly returning from setting out in the morning... very heartening to see this many enjoying the high country. As the guidebook relates (but beware, such tomes tend to be written by the very fit), this is a half-day hike.
Considering this, spend the mid-morning dispensing with the daily musical tasks (detailed editing of Triple Concerto for Bassoon, Contrabassoon, and Harp: II, page 10; pdf of San Timoteo Can[yon]tata 39), before winging out to the freeway,
up into the
and up re Truckee /
Tahoe (but perhaps the last for an unknown interval),
past the Meadows to the
a huge difference from last week's hour later and sky cloudier,
traversing Pass Ridge,
with views of Slide Mountain,
and the Lake on the new trail,
higher than the old service road,
which welcomely trims off seemingly at least 1.4 miles round trip to the peak
(9.6, as opposed to the 11 according to the map,
and 11.8 from the guidebook back home).
Into the woods,
with tempting views of the goal
Tamarack Ridge to the
stretching out to Houghton Peak and the Summit itself.
After a refreshing pause at the freshet,
edge the flowery
perimeter to the
then take a businesslike rise to a
at last topping out at the
Mt. Rose Wilderness
Another break --
make that two --
along the knife edge separating Galena and
Bronco Creek drainages,
high-cournty views of
Church Peak and much of the aforementioned.
Treeline is reached,
with extensive krumholtz patches of whitebark pine,
including a few hardy outliers in view of the top,
which stays in view for seemingly an eternity,
yet at last attained.
Definitely a day's workout --
yet close enough to civilization that phone calls can be made to Harriet, Bette and George, and Crystal.
After a respite at the Summit,
take a jaunt over to the Eastern Viewpoint, with prospects severely down to the semi-scenic Ski Area.
Return to the actual Summit, meet Ed for pictures, then the long reverse, the light dying gloriously just upon an 8:30 retrograde to the Trailhead, followed by the circuitous, sinuous stretch homeward. As most always, good to be alive.